Involvement in international organizations
Since 1957 Germany has been one of the six founding members of today’s EU. Since 2007, it has consisted of 27 member states and the euro is the official tender in 16 of them. Germany contributes EUR 26.6 billion to the EU budget of EUR 141 billion (2010). Günther Oettinger (CDU), the former Prime Minister of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, is responsible for energy issues on the EU Commission. www.eu.int
The United Nations was founded in 1945 with the goal of safeguarding world peace. With 192 member states, almost all the countries in the world belong to the UN. Germany has been a member since 1973 and following the United States and Japan is the third largest contributor to the UN budget. Since 1996, Germany has been one of the UN countries that is home to UN institutions; among others, the UNFCCC Climate Change Secretariat has been based in Bonn.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in 1949. Today, this defense alliance has 26 member states; Germany joined in 1955. The German Armed Forces have since March 1999 been part of NATO’s mission in Kosovo, with 2,230 soldiers stationed there at year-end 2007, and 3,140 soldiers on the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan. NATO’s HQ is in Brussels; its highest body is the NATO Council. www.nato.int
With its 56 member states, the Organization for Organization and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) is a comprehensive forum for cooperation at the pan-European level. OSCE missions are active above all in conflict prevention and management. Germany makes a substantial contribution to finance and man-power. www.osce.org
The World Trade Organization (WTO) was founded in 1995 and serves to implement the existing treaties on international trade. It is likewise a forum for negotiation on liberalizing global trade. In the present Doha round Germany has been expressly championing better integration of the developing countries into world trade.
The key task of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C., is to promote the macroeconomic stability of its 185 member states. Germany’s capital quota is 6.0 percent, making it one of the key IMF members; through a German executive director it also participates in IMF decision-making.